This morning I watched a video someone posted about a large high school choir on the balconies of a huge hotel singing “Down to the River to Pray” Acappella and it was simply beautiful. Listening to this, I was thinking of the many unselfish hours given to practicing for the joy of others. Watching the students and seeing their focus on the one Choir Director and the harmony they produced and realizing this was only possible with that one focal point and the blending came from joined efforts; not one being louder or better than another.
Then I thought of a spinning ballerina having to maintain her balance by one focal point who would otherwise become confused and dizzy. My point is by keeping my focus on God and not human circumstances, I can remain in balance. Hebrews 12:2 reads “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
While studying this morning, I was reminded of how absurd human opinions can be. Since I have been on this planet, there have been certain medicines one can purchase across the counter at times while at other times they require prescriptions. Following research, often foods are detrimental to one’s health while at other times they are needed for nutrition. In the fashion world before the 60’s, the body size for a woman that was popular was short and rather sturdy; then the 60’s promoted clothing for tall thin women.
As I pondered this, it became apparent that the only constant for me has been God and His love for me. To attempt to heed human opinions seem ridiculous. Fear often stems through paying attention to “what the latest is” in beliefs, styles, etc. Excessive planning follows that line of thinking leaving God out, which, of course, is impossible. Today, my prayer is to catch my thinking early on as it begins to wander and keep my focus on God/Love. Psalm 46:10 states “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Last night, a family member telephoned me and we hadn’t talked in over a year. That is not unusual since this person has a history of irritating people in the family. We visited for over an hour and it was the most pleasant conversation we had ever had. As I had picked up the phone and saw the name, my first thought was “Oh no” and immediately caught my thought and quickly prayed to see God’s child instead. John 11:44 reads “And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes; and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus said unto them, ‘Loose him and let him go.'”
This reminded me to release preconceived opinions and know the Truth about God’s creation that He found “very good”. Being Easter week-end, I had also prayed to know that “He is risen!” and to raise my thoughts as well. Letting go of condemnation, bitterness, harsh judgments and other negativity, I am leaving room for joy!
As I ponder this title, once again I am reminded that now is all there is! My husband just walked in to tell me that he just read “We are thought to be witnesses, not prosecuting attorneys.” I really like that for I am tempted to not only judge another, but myself as well. Comparisons follow that line of thinking and lead either to feelings of pride or inferiority and sometimes, both. Right at that time, I choose to correct that thinking and replace it with Love for myself and then, I can Love others as well.
Proverbs 3: 11-12 states “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent His rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in.” By releasing all human outlining, I can see only spiritual growth going on and that is seeing through God’s eyes. Today, I choose to be alert and catch early on, any erroneous thinking and stay in the Now!
This morning as I was studying the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego being thrown into the furnace by the order of Nebuchadnezzar, I prayed for a deeper meaning. What came to me was that often when we hear a certain song, smell or fleeting thought, we can be seductively drawn back into an experience of the past. If careless, that experience becomes a god to us and we are worshipping it. Images of the past can flood our consciousness, whether enjoyable or frightening. God is right here with us at all times and there is nothing to fear. There was also no past without Him! Daniel 3:11 states “And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.” Do we really think God is saying that to us? The more alert I am to my thoughts, the more I can cast out the ones that are not from God.
Praying daily to see what God sees and hear what He is saying strengthens my spiritual muscles and I can honestly say only spiritual growth is going on.
Today, being Halloween is a perfect day to be pondering our true identity. Tonight there will be literally thousands of children dressed up as various ghosts and goblins and trick or treating throughout. Not one of us is fooled by these costumes. Also, when an actor or actress plays a role, we know that is not really who they are. Shouldn’t we be alert to this when talking with our sisters and brothers? Even if there is arrogance, pride or hatefulness present; shouldn’t we see the Truth? That is not their true identity any more than the costumes on the children depicting their identity.
Acts 17:27-28 states “God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. ‘For in Him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are His offspring.'” Some of us are not aware of who we are, but we still are made in His image and likeness and this does not change simply because we do not recognize the Truth!
Today as I am praying at my desk, I am wondering why the world insist on making this day of destruction an idol rather than focusing on what is needed to rectify this problem of violence. Everywhere you see and hear where people were at the exact time of the bombing and speculation of each and every detail. Is this really the solution or should we search our own hearts and reject all malice and bitterness with God’s Love for His magnificent creation? Once again, where is our focus?
2 Corinthians 10:4 states “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”